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Article 96

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One issue that is getting attention here in Japan but is, I suspect, pretty much off the international radar, is the LDP’s push to amend Article 96 of the Constitution. Unable to get a broad consensus on changing anything else, they have focused on Article 96 (which lays out the procedures for amending the Constitution) and have argued that the requirements are unreasonably demanding. Yet many other countries have just-as-demanding requirements and have amended their Constitutions.

If there is no reason to amend the Constitution except to make it easier to amend the Constitution, why bother? Change for the sake of change is no more responsible than opposition for the sake of opposition. But of course, for the LDP, it is not just for the sake of change. It is to open the gateways to a retrogressive rewriting. Article 96 is just the crack-laced candy. “Go ahead and try it. Won’t hurt you.” Their gateway drug.

fred uleman
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1 Comment

  1. Peter Duus says:

    I don’t Twitter or Facebook but let me say that I like this format Seems easy to use and pleasing to the eye.

    As for Article 96, it has been much in TV news over the past day or two. Abe even made comments on the issue from Middle East — where he appears to have arrived too late with too little.. (The Korean construction industry has apparently been beating the pants off the Japanese in Bahrain for the past several years.) But Friday is Constitution Day, and the amendment issue is inching to the front.

    Despite Abe’s enthusiasm for changing Article 96, news reports indicate that only the Kominto but elements within the LDP are not happy with the idea. Many argue that the constitution should be amended piecemeal if it is to be amended, and not simply placed on the chopping block by a simple vote in a Diet controlled by one party.

    Nor do recent public opinion polls suggest much support either. An Asahi poll this morning (May 2) showed 54% against changing Art 96 vs 38% for changing; and 52% opposed changing Article 9 vs 39% for doing so..

    All this may change between now and the HC elections but it is clear that despite the collapse of the left wing a majority of the public are still opposed to the agenda that the LDP right has been pursuing since the early 1950s.

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